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Does the algebraic denote captures with a symbol? It seems I have seen " : " used to denote captures in some sources.
I've seen the : in some texts. Informants use no symbol to denote captures. White's second move in the Scandinavian, for example, is written "ed," while on my scoresheet, I would write exd5.
I first became aware of algebraic notation when I started getting a little serious in 1975 because:
This was before chess programs on computers were much in the public eye or I had ever played one. I played one of Ken Thomson's early efforts on a Unix system at UC Berkeley in 1976 and 1977 that I am pretty sure existed by 1975 (it liked to play the Marshall attack as black vs the Ruy). The small commercial micro-based products did not appear until around 1977 (Chess challenger, Boris and other now laughably weak products). So I do not think the impetus for algebraic had anything to do with computer chess.
I grew up mainly reading Descriptive, and even now I have to think for a second when dealing with the files f-g. Files a-e, for some reason, cause me no problem though.
"Winning Chess" by Reinfield and Chernev was it for me...
Me too! An excellent little book, which I am AMAZED no-one has reprinted...
What a blast from the past! It was my first chess book because it was highly recommended by all the chessplayers I knew back then. I still have it, although the binding came apart and it was chewed by a dog. I think it is an excellent beginner's book. I too am AMAZED it hasn't been re-printed or at least it's format copied.
I think when Sahovski published the first Chess Informants in 1966, that started the shift in the English speaking world from descriptive to algebraic. All the world's leading grandmasters were involved in annotating games for Informant: Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky, Fischer, Karpov. FIDE announced their new title-holders there, published tournament crosstables and starting in 1970 the Elo rating lists. Informant became required reading for active tournament players, and maybe around 1976, British publishers started shifting over to algebraic. I somehow doubt that computers had anything to do with it, because they didn't become popular until much later.
M. Rubidoux grabbed at the end of his armrest and tightened his fingers around its sharp wooden corners. The air was thick and dry, which made the skin crack around his knuckles like white chalk canyons. He raised his other hand from his faded Dockers and traced the edge of the hewn table in front of him with the calloused pad of his thumb, trying to remember if he had sent a check to the gas & electric company. He couldn't.
On the other side of the table, M. Johansson, maybe ten years younger and much better dressed, tugged on his earlobe and chewed on the inside of his cheeks. He stared at the center of the table. After a few more weary moments, he pulled his hand away from his ear and moved his bishop from where it had sat, fianchettoed on the black square on his left side, to the center of the board, four squares in front of his king.
M. Rubidoux grunted, and pushed his tongue up behind his upper lip. He forgot about the electric & gas company. He swallowed, pulled his hand from the table up to rub his left eye, looked up at M. Johansson's face, looked back down at the board, and grabbed the knight that still sat in its starting position, between his queen and the rook nearest her. He moved the knight to the open space two squares in front of his bishop that had just been sitting next to the knight.
M. Johansson was prepared for this. He confidently moved the pawn from immediately in front of his queen to a space two squares forward. He let his elbow relax back on his chair. He looked up at the wall behind his opponent's shoulder and made a note to himself that he should leave for home in about an hour.
Is this guy cheating ?! A bishop on black squares cannot move to e4, which is a white square ! Unless he is counting the square the BK stands on, 4 squares in front of the BK is e4 !
Descriptive notation is also known as Anglo-American notation and English notation. No matter what it is known as, I never liked it. I was so glad to learn about Algebraic.
Does anyone know of a program that translates descriptive to algebraic. Many of my chess books are in descriptive and I would like to post some of those old games and problems, but it takes me some time to translate them.
You could try Don Fong's chessbd.
I grew up on long algebraic notation for many years. I remember I had only one book all that time which used long algebraic notation. I liked that I knew where a piece originated from when you are taking back moves as it indicated the starting squares. I notated my chess games only in that format.
I bought Lasker's Manual of Chess for 25cents which brought me to descriptive notation. Lasker used an older version of it which used kt instead of N and a few other small differences. I switched to this format for my games.
I only use short algebraic notation now as it is apparent everywhere nowadays.
Personally I like descriptive notation the best, but I use algebraic and descriptive interchangeably.
I grew up (until about age 30) with descriptive notation (called in those days English Notation). While replaying a published game (pre-computer era of course) there might be a position in which either of two knights could hop to the same square. I always puzzled over the Move: KN-Q6. Which of my knights was the KN and which was the QN? By this point in the game I could no longer recall. I solved the problem by placing my knights in their starting positions, facing each other! End of problem. Ah, the good old days. I learned enough Russian to use algebraic and subscribe to Shakmaty Byulletin.
I should have typed KKt-Q6.
It would have been easier to learn chess if the books I learned from had algebraic notation.
I just checked a few Dutch books wich are 80 years old now.
Guess what? Algebraic notation :p. I guess some countries just like to hang on to very old systems, even if they are outdated.
I still set up my knights facing each other because of that just out of habit. I used to determine which knight to move when writing the notation by writing: N (KB7)- KR8. It could get messy when writing capture notations, too. Oh, what fun it was!
It was very confusing for me to learn descriptive notation, because each square has two different notations. h8 is written KR8 for White and KR1 for Black. I had teach myself, because I knew no one that knew anything about chess, and trying to learn from books using descriptive wasn't easy for me, so I marked each square with both notations on the chess board until I could move without checking. In writing the notations one has to write the opponent's moves as seen from his side of the board, thus it seems strange for those not familiar with descriptive to see 1. P-K4, P-K4 instead of 1. e4, e5. It seems clumsy now to me after using algebraic notation. Once I became accustom to descriptive I could make notations without any problems, but going back to it now would slow me down for a while.
A partial solution is to look for those games in databases by the players names, date, event, etc. If you find them they will be in algebraic.
On the first move I gave her the algebraic notation, but on the second I gave her the distributive notation. I am teaching her chess, but I have not taught her about notation as of yet. She said it was not the correct move. “Are you sure?” I asked. She was sure. I looked again, it had to be correct, but I have been wrong before. Ha, many times, to be exact. After asking her again and receiving the same answer I just had to check the answer myself. I was correct, but I laughed and thought of this thread. I often think in descriptive when playing, such as QxB, but will write the notation in algebraic. Please see post #95, because I left out a pawn that is supposed to be on e3.
This one is correct!
I guess I can delete my statement now.
I goofed, because the bishop is supposed to be on e8, not d8. This is the worst I have been at posting diagrams.
Well, delete the diagram from the post and put a new one. You can type that you corrected it.
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